Your business is your baby. You wouldn’t want to trust your inventory, or the safety of your staff and customers, to just any old security system. Thankfully, Vivint isn’t just any old system. It’s a streamlined smart security system that’s capable of protecting businesses big and small. But… is it the best option on the market?
Well, we can say that it beats the competition when it comes to features and all-around connectivity… but it’s not for everyone. Don’t worry, we recently got a full month of hands-on experience with Vivint, and we’re sharing our findings with you today. Without further ado, let’s see if Vivint makes sense for your business and budget.
Vivint Pros & Cons
- Completely customizable for every business
- Professional installation
- 24/7 cellular monitoring
- Indoor and outdoor security cameras
- Glass break sensors and motion sensors
- Convenient mobile app functionality
- Smart Hub panel looks good in any office space
- Contracts may be required
- Not the cheapest option out there
- Trial period is pretty short
- Customer service could be improved
Consider Your Type of Business
When we say Vivint isn’t for everyone, or every business, we mean that some businesses just aren’t ready for an end-to-end service like Vivint. Whether it be budget constraints, or that the business is moving locations soon, or what have you — some situations don’t call for a premium smart system. If that’s you, not to worry, we think you’d be better served by a more affordable DIY system like Frontpoint or abode.
But… if your company is more established, and you want the best wireless protection and smart connectivity that money can buy, then we think Vivint is the best option for your business. And we have the boots-on-the-ground experience to back that up. You can read our full hands-on review of Vivint here. One thing to bear in mind: We tested Vivint's home security package. While Vivint offers the same equipment for their business security, prices may be a little different for business customers.
FYI: If you think it might be a good fit, Vivint can get your office or commercial space outfitted with surveillance cameras, intrusion sensors, smart thermostats, smart locks, a modern touchscreen control panel, smartphone controls, and more.
How Vivint Protects the Workplace
After using Vivint, we can see how it can protect your company from all sorts of criminal activity and bad actors. For instance, the cameras may be helpful against lawsuits from customer slip-and-falls, and they can also help to identify a thief stealing merchandise. Vivint can notify you of a security breach (even at 3am), and it might make your employees feel safer and let you sleep a little easier at night.
Now, don’t get us wrong, Vivint isn’t a magic bullet. But having a security system in place is always a good idea — whether it’s Vivint or another leading brand like ADT. That said, let’s dive into Vivint’s packages for businesses and what it’s like using the system on a daily basis.
Vivint Equipment Prices for Businesses
We spent roughly $1,400 for our Vivint setup, but keep in mind that we bought just about everything Vivint sells. If you run a small to mid-sized business, expect to pay between $1,000 – $2,000 in upfront equipment costs. Ah! But you’re a businessperson, so you know the importance of keeping cash-on-hand for a rainy day. With this in mind, you can keep your money, sign a Vivint contract, and spread those payments out over 3 to 5 years.
Pro Tip: You don’t have to purchase everything upfront. Instead, consider Vivint’s zero-interest Flex Pay program. Paying $20 per month sounds a whole lot better than $1,500 out of pocket.
You might find Vivint promoting a “Vivint for Business Package.” But it doesn’t come with nearly enough equipment, even for a small business (see below). So we recommend customizing a system from the ground up. Some of the equipment we’ve used and would highly recommend include Vivint’s Outdoor Camera Pro, recessed door sensors, and their glass break sensors and smart locks. These products will go the distance to protect any place of business.
Vivint Business Package Includes:
- 1 Touchscreen Panel
- 3 Door/Window Sensors
- 1 Motion Detection
- 1 Key FOB
- 1 Vivint Yard Sign
Now, if you have a large business — like an expansive factory space, retail outlet, or a commercial center — you’ll probably spend upwards of $3,000 to $5,000 for a Vivint security system with multiple cameras. So if you’re building an empire, you might want to look into CCTV systems like Lorex (we’ve reviewed Lorex in depth here) to use in conjunction with Vivint.
Vivint 24/7 Monitoring for Businesses
In addition to equipment costs, you’ll also need to sign up for one of Vivint’s monthly monitoring plans. The company doesn’t allow self-monitoring, so your system will be connected to a professional monitoring center at all times. And this comes at a price.
Monitoring starts at $29.99 monthly for residential customers. But for businesses, Vivint monitoring starts at $39.99 per month, which is reasonable from what we’ve seen. This plan includes advanced protection with smart automations. If you want video support, the monthly fee bumps to $49.99, which again is average for the industry. Here’s our most recent roundup of Vivint plans and prices.
Vivint Monitoring for Business
|24/7 Cellular Monitoring
One thing that Vivint does right is professional installation. We welcomed a Vivint technician, Don, into our place to set us up with a new system. You can read all about our installation experience here, but just expect a positive experience from start to finish.
We’d recommend setting aside a couple hours for a ‘Smart Home Pro’ to get you squared away. If you have a bigger building or office space with lots of doors and windows, you’ll want to carve out 4-5 hours. It’s a fairly involved process, but then again, it’s a very advanced system. And in our opinion, it beats having to install it yourself.
Vivint’s Smart Home Pros will also stick around after the installation job to show you the ropes and teach you how to use the system (it’s easier than you think). One of the best parts about this is that Vivint offers free installation for businesses. This surprised us, as they charge $100-$200 for residential installation. But don’t worry — they’re getting their money back in equipment and monitoring costs.
24/7 Cellular Monitoring
Unlike many Wi-Fi connected security systems, Vivint uses a 100% cellular connection for fast and reliable monitoring. Even if your power cuts out, your place of business will still be connected to the monitoring station via cell towers. We’re all about cellular monitoring; it’s fast-becoming the industry standard for a reason. Just note that Vivint’s cameras do run off Wi-Fi, so if you’re looking for video support, just be sure your Internet speeds are up to snuff.
FYI: In testing the Vivint alarm, we experienced 35 second response times on average. That’s the time it takes for an emergency response agent to call if (or when!) your business is targeted by burglars. Keep in mind that 35 seconds is right in line with the industry average for responsiveness.
A Smarter Workplace
If business has been good and you have the budget to invest, another benefit of Vivint is their smart home automations. Smart home, smart office, it’s all the same. You’ll be able to remotely manage your thermostat with Vivint’s Element Thermostat ($169), lock and unlock your door from virtually anywhere with a Vivint smart lock ($159), ensure your lights turn off automatically at close of business using Philips Hue smart lighting ($69+), and integrate Alexa or Google Home for hands-free voice control. We know, it’s a lot. Speaking of integration, Vivint just happens to be one of the best security systems for Google Home.
Note that Vivint also runs on the Z-Wave protocol, meaning you can integrate hundreds of third-party smart devices into your smart office ecosystem. The smart device categories compatible with Vivint include:
- Window blinds
- Home appliances
- Switches and plugs
We were pretty impressed by the ease-of-use and how it all integrates into the Vivint app. So if we weren’t around to access our devices on the Smart Hub, we just pulled out our smartphone and a few swipes later we had Vivint doing our bidding. It might not be Einstein smart, but Vivint certainly makes the honor roll.
We understand that Vivint isn’t the cheapest smart platform available — but you really get what you pay for here. Compared to other top brands we’ve tried, Vivint is the most intelligent and most streamlined system we’ve used. Of course, this might be overkill for your office or place of business. However, we say it’s better to have the functionality and not need it, than it is to need it and not have it.
Did You Know: Vivint also has plenty of native smart features. These include custom actions and notifications. For instance, if you have smart lights, you can set a custom action that automatically turns on your office lights when your system is disarmed. You can configure dozens of these native smart rules — more than with any other security brand. In other words, Vivint offers total control over your business environment and security.
Vivint Cameras for Business
We wrote a hands-on review of Vivint cameras where we share the ins and outs of our experience, so we won’t go too deep into it here. That said, we think smart surveillance is one of Vivint’s biggest strengths, so we’d be remiss not to mention it! If your business isn’t located in the best area of town (or really, even if it is) you’ll want to pay close attention here.
Ping Camera – Secure the Office or Interior
The Vivint Ping is the indoor camera option. It comes with a 12-ft. power cord and plenty of great features. We really liked the one-touch Callout button. If one of your staff members feels threatened, they can push the button on top of the camera and it will send a notification to your mobile app. You can then open the app and view the live-stream footage to see what all the fuss is about. You can also view live video any time you want, as well as use two-way talk to communicate with staff.
Other standout features of the Ping cam include 1080p HD resolution, 155-degree field of view, 10x zoom, motion-triggered notifications, night vision, and video recording. But at the $199 price tag, we would have liked to see some AI features like facial recognition. Overall, we think it’ll do a fine job protecting your inventory and employees. Would we recommend it over Ring cameras? Probably not.
Outdoor Camera Pro – Secure the Parking Lot and Exterior
If you’re serious about securing the perimeter of your business, you’re going to like this 4K HDR camera. It boasts one of the sharpest images we’ve seen from any device, and it even has motion-activated deterrent features like LED lights and a 65 dB siren. Plus, it has artificial intelligence that detects and wards off lurkers, which can be pretty helpful at night when your parking lot or business front should be empty. This is a huge plus for business owners. Think about it… why not warn a burglar before they shatter your window? We know those insurance deductibles can be a doozy.
Other features of the Outdoor Camera Pro include two-way talk, night vision, 3x zoom, and smartphone access and controls. With your perimeter alarm set, the camera will notify you if it detects someone coming into range. Pop into the app and you can trigger your alarm right there, or let them know you’re watching with two-way talk.
We could go on, as we think this is Vivint’s best product in the lineup. We just wish it were a little cheaper. It comes with a $399 price tag (gulp!), which is pricey compared to other outdoor cameras on the market. Then again, when we consider Vivint’s functionality and connectedness, the price of the Outdoor Camera Pro really doesn’t seem all that bad.
Pro Tip: If you need multiple cameras to watch over your building, we recommend checking out the Arlo Pro 3 two-pack bundles priced at $500. That’s four top-of-the-line cameras for $1,000. This turns out to be $600 cheaper than buying four of Vivint’s outdoor cameras. We tested and reviewed the Arlo Pro 3, and it’s one of our favorites. You can read our full Arlo camera review here.
Doorbell Camera Pro
Note that Vivint also offers a smart doorbell called the Doorbell Camera Pro. Most businesses don’t have a traditional entryway with a doorbell. But if you have a standalone home-turned-business (like an attorney’s office or hair salon), then this video doorbell might be worth looking into. Like other Vivint equipment, it won’t disappoint. You can read our full take on the Doorbell Camera Pro here.
A Few Gripes We Have with Vivint
By now, you can probably tell that Vivint is a safe bet for businesses. But before we wrap up, we have some (relatively minor) gripes to share with you.
First, we don’t love Vivint’s contract terms. Although contracts are to be expected with professionally installed security systems, we’d rather go month-to-month. Of course, you don’t have to sign a contract, but if you want to go footloose and contract-free, you’ll have to purchase your equipment upfront. And this will cost $1,000 at least, depending on the size of your place of business. That’s a lot of money, no matter how much business is booming.
FYI: Cold feet about signing contracts? Us too. So we really dig into Vivint’s contract terms and talk about what to expect in our Vivint contract guide. You might find that it’s not all that bad.
Price and contracts aside, we also wish Vivint offered a 30-day free trial like most systems we’ve used. Instead, they only give you three days to try it out. So a quick tip is to have the system installed on Monday or Tuesday, that way you’ll have the remainder of the work week to test it out. You and your staff can get a good feel for it, and then make the final decision by Friday EOD. Three days should be enough time to decide whether or not Vivint is right for your business.
Finally, one last area of improvement is in regard to their customer service. The last time we spoke with an agent was five hours ago (seriously), but we got bounced around from agent to agent for a solid 10 minutes. We typically don’t run into problems with Vivint’s tech support team, but this was on the sales side of their business. Not a deal-breaker, but we still think it’s worth pointing out.
Our Final Verdict on Vivint for Business
If your business is fairly well-established (fly-by-nighters need not apply), then you really can’t beat a Vivint smart security system. These highly-intelligent, user-friendly alarm systems can protect your business against all sorts of nefarious activity — including robbery, merchandise theft, insurance fraud, employee theft, embezzlement, you name it. But we think Vivint really excels when it comes to automations and customizations.
We were most impressed by the connectedness of the system, and how all of our devices synced in the mobile app for one-stop access and control. The Smart Hub touchscreen control panel is quite the looker, too. We think you’ll really like the way it adds a modern touch to the office environment. Just be ready to pay a pretty penny for it. That said, if you can swing it in your expense budget, you’ll certainly be in for a treat with Vivint.